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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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hi there, i have a girlfiend who use to suffer from anorexia,

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hi there, i have a girlfiend who use to suffer from anorexia, this was in her teens , she is now 32 yrs old.. we constanly fight and she gets angry and irratable and withdrawn very quickly becuase she belives i am trying to control her and a situation all the time. im not , for the most part im being a man and trying to help in situations i am strong willed and asertive in situations but i always try do things for her yet in her mind i am controling and its tearing us apart has she possibly got any issues that i can work around?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
Hi Lee,

Thanks for asking your question. I'm happy to help you today.

Can you give me an example of what you mean when you say she thinks you're trying to control her and a situation (i.e. tell me about a specific situation)? And is the anorexia under control or do you have any reason to think that she is still suffering from this condition? How long have you been together? Any additional information you can provide is helpful. I will respond as soon as I hear from you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
a very small example, and there are many, she has her own spot and is extremly busy at work today and needs to get back home to pay the maid and let her out the house. i said to her to give me the keys i can fetch them from her work, let the maid out and give her the keys back later. she imediately got angry with me and put the phone down. called her a little later and she indicated that she just felt like i was trying to control the sitaution. and cotrol her.... i was just being carering and trying to help.. my concern is that this causes such a breakdown in comunication becuse she beleives that the things i do when i know im being loving and trying to help, is controling! she withdraws so badly and almost gets resentful of me and then becomes hurtful when i try argue my point.. she gets very nasty until i cant take anymore hurt and almost crawl back in submissive mode.. this has become a very big pattern in our lives and in turn has broken my spirit and made me loose confidence... the key example is very basic but it gets worse... we have been together for 3 and a half years now... oh and if she drinks she becomes a very loud and almost uncontrolable horrible person... she is no longer suffering for anorexia... she had it bad when she was a teen.... she did use drugs alot and has been off since we started dating...
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
I can see how this is a very frustrating situation for you, and from what you are saying, it does sound like you are trying to help and show your love and concern for her. For some reason, she's interpreting your concern as controlling - her reaction does not seem to be normal or consistent with the situation you've described.

Based on what you've said (the drug use, the behavior, the irrational thinking, etc), it sounds like she might have borderline personality disorder - also referred to as BPD (although, of course, I can't say for sure without meeting her in person - she'd need to see a psychiatrist or another mental health professional to have an evaluation and obtain a proper diagnosis). These types of patterns are very common in patients with BPD. It's a much more common disorder in women than in men, and it's also extremely under-diagnosed because people with the disorder don't want to admit that they have a problem and have a very hard time asking for help.

Everything that you're describing points to this disorder - and it can be very difficult to have a functional, healthy relationship with a person like this - although it is certainly possible. I'd like to provide you with more information about it and suggest a few books/articles you can read to help you deal with her behavior (although again, I just want to reiterate that I can't provide a diagnosis on this website, so this is just for informational purposes). I think you'll find this helpful, however.

This is general information about symptoms (you can click the menu on the left of the page for more info):
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/borderline-personality-disorder/DS00442/DSECTION=symptoms

Randi Kreger is a researcher who pioneered work on BPD and she wrote a book to help loved ones of people with BPD deal with their behavior, it's called "Stop Walking on Eggshells". You can visit her website for more information as well:
http://www.bpdcentral.com/

I would say that you have to protect yourself in this situation and realize that her behavior is not always going to be rational even when you're trying your best to be helpful. It might be a good idea for you to think about seeking counseling for yourself, just to help you cope and deal with the situation if you plan to stay in the relationship. You can make it work, but it's best if she seeks treatment and you learn the skills you need to manage being in a relationship with someone like this.

I hope that helps. Best of luck, and please let me know if you need any additional assistance.
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 629
Experience: Specializing in mental health counseling
Alicia_MSW and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you so much, it is a scary thought and seemingly a daunting task ahead.. i do love her very much. i do know she was on a tab called cilift in the past but she said that was for her depression... would that help or is there a tablet for this disorder. ?
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
It is scary but it also helps to know that there might actually be something going on with her that has nothing to do with you - so maybe that will help ease the situation a bit for you and you won't be as hurt by her actions. Cilift is an SSRI - a type of antidepressant. And while there's no specific "borderline personality disorder" medication, antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications can often help certain symptoms - but what helps is different for everyone so she'd need to talk to her doctor about that. Also, you might want to read this article:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder/how-is-borderline-personality-disorder-treated.shtml

The last paragraph discusses natural treatments that have shown to have some effect on symptoms of BPD - so that might also be useful information for you to have.
Good luck!

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Alicia_MSW
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Psychotherapist
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Specializing in mental health counseling